Almost 80 percent of employees in Quebec suggested they have regularly or occasionally witnessed workplace conflict in the previous calendar year. This according to a poll released by Ordre des conseillers en resources Humaines agrees; a Quebec based Human Resource Professional Association.
What does a lack of engagement by management in conflict mean to your business?
To your employees, management has two choices if conflict arises: to get involved or to turn a blind eye. The survey reinforced the value of taking an active part in managing battle with outcomes that demonstrated employees being 21 percent more likely to be productive when managers didn’t engage. Conflict in the office has a very clear effect on a company’s bottom line and more importantly on the happiness of the staff. Does some of this sound familiar to you?
· Increased absenteeism;
· Increased resignations and dismissals;
· Decreased productivity; and/or
· Breakdown in hope of hierarchy.
How Can I participate?
Workplace conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many of us have adverse emotions tied to the term battle, but it doesn’t need to be like that. The conflict lies in the heart of competition, creativity, and diversity. It is an only ill-managed battle that results in disputes that produce toxic work environments.
The very first step about workplace battle is listening – actively. Without being involved in dialogue management may miss the cues of festering disputes. Active listening means paying attention to the words used to describe situations, the body language of the person talking and the overall tone of the talks at work. Are they are they gossip riddled? Who’s saying what and about whom?
Through active listening, direction may take the next step: strategize regarding the sources of workplace conflict. They can be numerous: task-related stress; breakdown in communication; trust problems; personality-based battle and so forth. Once the sources are identified, it will become an issue of exploring and implementing the appropriate instruments to mitigate the unhealthy battle.
If the triggers are related to workflow procedures subsequently streamlining and revision may be necessary. This process should if at all possible include as much input as possible from people involved with the workflow procedure. Input from front line staff is more valuable than a textbook solution put into practice. Additionally, by investing at the opinions of your workers, you will reap the benefit of greater trust – as long as your feedback is not dismissed. That isn’t to state that all input must be included in the revision. When an idea is not followed , follow up with clear communication behind the rationale. Leading with regard to others will foster an environment of respect. HR Atlantic
Lack of confidence, breakdown in communication and personality-related battle are more complex to resolve a single brush stroke. That being said there are reams of tools available to supervisors that can empower employees to more effectively manage conflict.
If your company would like to do better and is seeking to implement new solutions, you’re encouraged to consult with training providers with expertise in these areas, as well as mediation.
The consequences of conflict in the workplace are widespread and expensive. Its prevalence, as indicated by three serious studies, shows that 24-60% of management time and energy is spent dealing with anger. This results in decreased productivity, increased stress among employees, hampered performance, higher turnover rate, absenteeism and at its worst, violence and death.
Conflict at work is the end result of an assortment of factors. Possibly the most critical cause is when someone feels taken advantage of. This could happen when a perfectionist boss demands the exact same dedication and commitment from employees as he or she exhibits, but does not compensate them for the late or weekend hours.
Other situations include the worker having unrealistic expectations of what the occupation position is, or of being chased at work. Conflict also arises due to values and target differences in the company. The business might not have aims or not adequately express the goals and values to its employees. Conversely, the worker may have personal goals and values at odds with those of the provider.
There are four specific steps managers can take to reduce workplace conflict. Step one is for managers to examine communication skills, both with regard to how they communicate and how they’re teaching their employees to communicate with each other. This, of course, includes utilizing I statement instead of your speech. Owning your feelings and your communication is a far better way to communicate and even more, teaching your employees to communicate that way with others, goes a long way toward reducing conflict.
The next part of communication is for managers to beef up listening skills. Active listening involves things like actually trying to understand what the other person is saying, and then conveying to the other individual that you do indeed understand what they are saying.
The second way to reduce workplace conflict is to establish healthy boundaries. Without boundaries, there will be battle and squabbles, power struggles and all types of conditions that make for messy circumstances.
You can be professional and be empathetic and compassionate toward your own employees, without crossing the point of becoming their friend. This is particularly significant when there’s a power difference between two people in an employment situation.
The next element in reducing conflict is a skill called emotional intelligence. There are several aspects and facets but it means developing skills to become more effective by teaching individuals to combine both intelligence and emotions in the workplace.
Seeing and dealing with employees as human beings with real lives can be overlooked in the busy workplace. People with high emotional intelligence can professionally do so, and maintain appropriate boundaries. Another aspect of EQ is knowing and being sensitive to how workers are experiencing you as a supervisor. Part of EQ is teaching supervisors to become sensitive to the way they’re coming across to other people.
The fourth characteristic of reducing workplace conflict is putting up behavioral consequences to be used with truly uncooperative employees that are unwilling to change. Despite using all these recommendations, there will be a couple of employees that simply will not change because they are unwilling or not. That means a supervisor must explain an outcome, which is an activity or sanction that states to the worker the likely outcome of continuing problematic behavior. It’ll take skills from the three previous points to perform this in a non-threatening manner.